I came across this term “double-minded man” in reading the first few sentences of the Book of James. This nails me 100%. The opening lines talk about the need to fully believe that your prayers will be answered by God according to his wisdom. And then in James’ blunt fashion, he says that anyone who prays but doesn’t expect God to fulfill those prayers is a double-minded man. Pursuing God, but still stuck here in the world. At least that’s my take on it.
So let’s talk about believing in prayer. This is tough. Dude, you can hold your hands up in the air, fall to your knees, or whatever you like to get your prayers as impactful as possible. But it’s all a bit of window-dressing, isn’t it? Am I the only one who thinks it’s pretty darn tough to 100%, zero doubt, fully believe that my prayers are going to be answered?
Jesus did well with this (duh!). I think he was the opposite of me. I struggle to know what it would be like to 100% fully believe (in all honesty and not just trying to be “good at prayer”) in the power of my prayers. I think Jesus would be the opposite. I think he would have a hard time understanding someone who prayed to God on a regular basis but who, if being completely honest, was only very HOPEFUL that his prayers would be answered. Not CONFIDENT. I think he’d look at me and tell me I’m weird. You know, that guy way of saying it where an insult isn’t really an insult.
Why is this hard for me? Well the answer is actually really simple. I just don’t pray enough. And I don’t spend enough time reading the Bible. I have this expectation that I’ll sit down to pray and just be amazing at it. But I’ve never in my life been amazing at something the first time I did it. Or the tenth time I did it. Or the hundredth time.
And for something as complicated as prayer, it should take a while to get good at it, right? I mean we have tough stuff going on. Is that voice I’m hearing my own? Or God? Silencing my own head might actually be harder than hearing from God. And I think I’ve heard from God at least twice. Powerful experiences, both. But there is a chance that every one of those times I wondered “was that God or what that my own head?” that perhaps it really was God? If so, I’ve heard from God a lot.
I’m rambling a little bit. Not unlike the way I pray. I’m still all over the place. Kind of like a conversation you might have with a 6 year old. Halfway through you are thinking, “How did we end up talking about THIS?”
So… simple fix. Just pray more. And pray about regular stuff. Stuff actually happening in my life. I need to stop saying what I think God wants to hear when I pray a just talk to God about what’s up. What am I thankful for? What is stressing me out at work? What does He want from me? These are things I think about all the time but they never make it into my prayers. Never on the “approved list”…
So no more approved list. Just conversation. Respectful conversation. With a God who is so completely nuts that He actually wants to hear from a weirdo like me on a daily basis.
Good night all.